Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Sam Brownback, Aquaducts, Transmission and Eminent Domain

Sam  Brownback is an idiot.

Jansas has more problems than a pubilc utility commisson that's a rubber stamp machine with no regard for the public it serves, or the Grain Belt Express being a privately held transmission line wanting eminent domain,  or permittign and constuction of a coal plant no one wants or needs.  
Let's not forget while Governor Brownback supports Kansas wind as long as the overpriced energy is being exported to other states through the Grain Belt Express Clean Line Powerline, Governor Brownback opposes federal mandates that requires Kansas ratepayers to pay higher rates to use that same over priced wind energy at home..  Here's a new twist to the saga of Sam Brownback attempting to develop an "all of the above"energy policy without definition or clarity.

Dump Governor (Blazing Saddles)

Dumber (Illinois Governor Pat Quinn supporting Clean Line Energy)

Dumberer (Sam Brownback)

Apparently the Kansas Water Authority wants to consider building a canal to wheel water from the Missouri River near White Cloud, Kansas (elevation 883 feet)  to Utica Kansas (elevation 2251 feet).  They're looking at a 360 mile long aqueduct that climbs 1,368 feet to supply water to the drier southwest Kansas.  This project willobviously require more eminent domain. 

Keep in mind the Sunflower coal powered generation plant in Holcomb, Kansas is only 20 miles away from Utica.  Sunflower claims the new coal plant would be to power homes in Texas and Colorado .  Like the Grain Belt Express powerline, Governor Brownback has supported this potential project claiming it would bring jobs.  Remember, coal generation stations use voluminous amounts of water. 

Kansas is considering building a 360 mile long aqueduct  to transport water uphill 1,368 feet to support a new coal plant, opposed by the EPA, to provide power for Texas and Colorado.  

If western Kansas is running short of water, why build a power plant that is not needed and will consumer more water?   Why would or SHOULD Kansas residents support and be forced to pay for this aqueduct that was initially projected to cost over $2 billion dollar 30 years ago when it was first reviewed?

The argument will most likely follow the classic "Sunflower won't use this water.  They will use other waters." Same argument as the bureaucrat who says this spending isn't from the General Fund but "other monies" that don't count....  In the end, water is water.  If western Kansas is water defiecient, it just does not make logical sense for state ragulators to approve a coal generation station there.

Kansas would invariably be going down the road of more eminent domain for a public works project that will not be supported by the residents.  Sound familiar?   Got Grain Belt Express?
Perhaps the Governor Brownback's people NEED to learned the fundamentals rules of water.  Just in case they haven't heard them yet, here are the three rules of water transportation.

1.  Water flows downhill.
2.  Water never flows uphill.
3.  Water never ever flows uphill.

This aqueduct is going uphill 1,368 feet to feed a plant that is not needed.  The amount of pumping required will be incredible and the amount of shrinkage or line loss due to evaporation be ridiculous.  Even dumberer will be the idea of pumping this water uphill with wind energy when the wind blows at night while no one is consuming electricity to store the water uphill.  Then during the day with higher demand, run the water back downhill through turbines to reproduce the energy and this time sell it at a higher price.  The wind doesn't blow during the day when it is consumed and the aqueduct would be a form of energy storage.  Don't laugh too hard.  Even with all the shrinkage and line loss, this is being suggested. 

Governor Brownback  needs to do the math here and get on top of this issue.  This is even dumber of an idea as Brownback's support for the Grain Belt Express and supporting exporting Kansas wind energy but opposes paying for the same high priced wind energy at home.  This Governor's "all-of-the-above" energy policy is starting to remind me of a Mel Brooks character in Blazing Saddles.

When a states energy policy is defined by lobbyists pushing through agendas through a week utility commission, it's not surprising energy policies can be such a mess.  Renewable Portfolio Standards are another example of an energy policy delivered by lobbyists and it wouldn't surprise me Governor Brownback was for the RPS before he was against it.

Does it really make economic sense to run an aqueduct through the best farmland to feed a power plant in the driest part of the state? 

No, residents do not oppose these projects because they are going through their property.  These projects are opposed because they are a product of a politically dysfunctional energy policy made up of dumb and dumber ideas.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks John. You're insight and ability to make a connection where others fail is amazing. It took me a while to learn when you see something it's significant It's surprising no one else has seen the connection between Sunflower and this aquifer idea yet. Like Clean Line Energy, this shows that anyone with a dumb idea can buy the attention of this Governor's administration.